Programmable cores target LTE Advanced
February 21, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Two new programmable digital signal processing cores from CEVA and Tensilica are targeting the next generation of cellular systems using the LTE-Advanced standard. This requires over five times the processing power of the current emerging LTE systems but will allow download speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s.
Tensilica says it has already secured lead customers for its new ConnX BBE32UE DSP IP core The core, coupled with Tensilica Baseband Dataplane processors (DPUs) provides a fully software programmable, flexible modem for LTE-Advanced user equipment category 7 PHY (Layer 1) with under 200 mW of power in TSMCs 28 nm HPL process. The core can also support 2G, 3G, LTE and HSPA+ standards.
Data bandwidth is a key criteria for LTE-Advanced User Equipment applications and the ConnX BBE32UE uses dual 256-bit load/store units to reduce power. Additionally, designers can use Tensilicas proprietary Port (general-purpose I/O) and Queue interfaces to directly connect hardware blocks to the processing ALUs. This allows single cycle dedicated access without the need to go over a system bus, hence reducing the required clock frequency and power consumption.
CEVA has also looked to expand the data bandwidth of its devices with a 2048bit wide interface from its core to the L1 data cache to tackle the same issues. Its CEVA-XC4000 is a series of six fully programmable DSP cores with a unified development infrastructure composed of code-compatible cores, a set of optimized software libraries and a single tool chain. It has also developed a new low latency interconnect to link the blocks.
The CEVA-XC4000 redefines the concept of a universal communication architecture, said Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA. Incorporating new power management techniques, we were able to dramatically reduce the power consumption for high-performance software-based processing, paving the way for modem developers to exploit the flexibility, reusability and time-to-market advantages that a software-defined approach brings.All news
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